Rabbi Uriyah Shachor, who heads the city of Ramle’s religious core group, on Wednesday called on the police to locate the people who torched the car of a local religious school principal and a nearby synagogue in the heart of the city’s al-Grebe neighborhood.
“The torching of the car and the synagogue surprised us,” Rabbi Shachor told Arutz Sheva. “There have been incidents of harassment and breaking of windows, but this is without a doubt an escalation.”
“I cannot explain clearly why it happened,” he added. “Perhaps as there is a greater Jewish presence in the neighborhood, more people are bothered by it. We recently brought in a Torah scroll and yesterday some students from the Sha’alvim yeshiva visited and danced in honor of Hanukkah. We recently also opened a Beit Midrash in the neighborhood. There be must be some people who do not like the fact that we are livening up the city.”
Rabbi Shachor expressed hope that the police will catch the arsonists. “There is no real concern for human life but these acts certainly put people on the edge. Let’s hope they catch the people who did this.”
He said that the city of Ramle has earned itself a bad reputation and noted that this is unjustified.
“There's a majority of Jews living in the city - 75% - but for some reason people believe that Ramle has no Jewish future,” he said. “We’ve built three kindergartens here, a school, a Talmud Torah for boys, a school for girls, an academy for Jewish identity and we plan to do more.”
Earlier this week, some Jewish residents of Ramle said police are afraid to confront local Arabs and deal with the rise in terrorism against local Jews.
“In general, they are trying to obfuscate the fact that there is terrorism against the Jews in the city, targeting core members of the religious community,” one resident said. “The police do not dare to fight this terrorism out of fear they won't be seen as politically correct - instead they accuse the victims of inciting their attackers.”
The police have claimed that the fires, both in the car and in the synagogue, were due to a short circuit.